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What is & Why Use a Gua Sha?

So many people are asking us:  What is a ‘Gua Sha’?  Is it a person, place or thing?!  

First off, it’s a ‘thing’. It’s a polished piece of crystal, typically quartz or jade, intended to touch, sweep and glide across areas of the face. A gua sha (pronounced gwa shah) is part of a 2,000 year Chinese ritual, not dissimilar from acupressure, that recognizes that the skin we see above is directly impacted by the health of the skin and lymphatic and circulatory systems below. The word gua actually means to “scrape” technically in Chinese but don’t worry; this is the most gentle and easy-to-do facial health technique we’ve ever experienced. No needles, no lasers, no acids, no doctors -  just you and a beautiful crystal. 

Gua Sha

The benefits are amazing. With a one-to-two minute series of massage like strokes across the face, eyes and neck, we can gift ourselves a ton of benefits:  

  • improve circulation which results in smoother, brighter skin
  • reduce stress and tension in the jaw & forehead
  • drain and detox the underlying lymphatic system 
  • improve dark circles, under eye bags and bring down puffiness
  • soften discolorations and spots including acne and rosacea
  • help your skincare absorb into skin more deeply

Long, ancient story short … your skin will look firmer, smoother and glowier. It’s not hard to do, many people find themselves gua sha-ing while unwinding with a book or watching their fave new show. 

Our Ten Step Gua Sha Ritual

Illustration of how to place the gua sha on your face and neck
  1. Jawline to Upper Face: After applying your favorite serum or facial oil,start by gently stroking the long curved side of your gwa sha ritual stone in an outward and upward motion, using a combination of 3 to 5 longer and short slides. 
  2. Third Eye: Slide the double-headed side of the gwa sha from between the middle of your eyebrows, straight upwards to the hairline to activate your third eye. Five times up. This chakra is actually located right at the pineal gland so it’s biologically an area that controls imagination and spiritual connection. And you can also soothe tension headaches!  
  3. Forehead:  Sweep 5 strokes from the center of the forehead outwards, left and right.  
  4. Eyelid & Brow:  Choose the most curved side of your stone to make 5 short upwards movements from your eyelid to just above your eyebrow. If it feels great to you, do more! Don’t forget to give the love to both sides. 
  5. Under Eye:  Using the larger ‘knob’ on your heart stone, lightly stroke from the side of your nose, down and across the undereye area, all the way outwards towards the temple. What you’re doing is moving the stagnant lymph out and eliminating underlying toxins, caused by stress, lack of sleep and exercise, too much alcohol. The usual suspects! 
  6. Cheek:   Using the double knob side, make the same sweeping touch-motion as you did with the undereyes, but this time starting from the side of nose, sliding across the cheek, upwards to the middle of the ear.
  7. Mouth:  Using any side of your ritual stone; glide from the outer mouth up to your ear.
  8. Chin:  Stroke from the soft area under your chin (everyone has a soft area under the chin, so don’t freak out!) up to the jawline.
  9. Neck:  Using the long or the double knobbed side, massage downwards from your earlobe, down the neck to the middle of the collarbone. 
  10. Full Face:  Finish by sweeping from the center of your forehead (start right at the hairline) down to your temple, then past your ear until you reach the neck. Do this 5 times for a final clean sweep of the lymphatic system and to stimulate natural circulation. Your face will now feel energized and look visibly brighter. 

The wonderful thing about the gua sha stone ritual, is that it’s ultimately so easy to do. You can do it once a week or every day. There is absolutely no right or wrong. The above Ten Step Ritual technique can be adjusted as you see fit for yourself.

Try using different sides of the stone or doing 10 strokes on each part of the face. Or doing the entire technique in reverse order (except for Step 10 – which should always be the finishing touch!) It’s so soothing and how great does it feel to know that you are draining away stagnant, sluggish lymphatic waste – and allowing your body’s natural skin health to re-assert itself. 

At Caire, we chose rose quartz as our first gua sha stone because rose quartz as a crystal is known for unconditional love and its ability to attract love, and well, doesn’t love make the world go round? 

We look forward to hearing about your gua sha experiences. 

PS: A Caire gua sha rose quartz ritual stone combined with Caire’s estrogen-compensating Serum would make the ultimate gift to someone you care about.  Including you!

Read more about the benefits of a Gua Sha from the NY Times in this article "Can You Give Yourself an At-Home Face-Lift? Emphatically no, say experts — but there are things you can do to make your skin look better."


Gua Sha in One Hand to show size

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